My Trip to Colorado with Friends from Google+ - 7 years in the making (kinda)
(Long post ahead. Just look at the photos if you don't like reading; link in the bottom.)
Let me tell you the story of how it came to be that four completely separate groups of people, whose paths would never
have crossed if it wasn't for Google+, came to spend an amazing week together in a vacation rental in the mountains of Colorado this summer.
Starting from the start - of the trip itself - June 9, 2018, after a long journey from Denmark, I arrived in some Washington airport (at the time I wasn't sure whether it was Washington state or Washington city - the US is confusing). I then continued on to Denver, Colorado where Sarah Rios and Ned Barnhart were welcoming me by the luggage claim (with two hyperactive kids).
While waiting for my luggage to arrive on the luggage carousel, Ned and I made a few jokes about luggage going missing - and then, mere minutes later, we learned my luggage had actually gone lost in transit. Oh well.
We signed up for my luggage to be delivered to Ned's brother's house, where we would be spending the night. Luckily, we got the bag during the night, so it was really no issue at all.
The next morning, after a good morning walk, we headed towards the hills (mountains) and kept in touch with the rest of the groups via our Hangouts group chat - with each group traveling their own way.
We were all on our way to our destination - some having more of an adventure traveling than others. ;-)
Since we're getting to the part of the story were we start actually meeting one another, here is a list of who these four group of people were:Florida group
(plane -> Airbnb -> rented car):
• Kari Tedrick
• JenIndiana group
(RV road trip - which didn't go as planned):
• Keith Cramer
• Lori Cramer
• NateKansas City group
(car -> Ned's brother's house -> car):
• Sarah Rios
• Ned Barnhart
• IssacDenmark group
(train -> one plane -> another plane -> car -> Ned's brother's house -> car):
That was all of us - a pretty damn awesome group, if I had to say so myself.
While I believe everyone had interesting trips heading out to our vacation rental near Dillon, Colorado - the Indiana group definitely had the most, let’s say, adventurous
trip in their new (old) RV. Though, that's another story in itself. :-)
Back to our journey...
We all arrived at the vacation rental during the day (and evening) and it was a pretty damn awesome place (really!).
Plenty of space for everyone - and everyone who wanted their own room could get one. It was truly perfect in every single way (except one - it didn't have a good chef's knife - though I think I was the only one bothered by that :-P ).
So what happened next?
Well, we all spend one amazing week going on hikes, exploring the area, hanging out, talking, cooking, eating, playing games, drinking, and enjoying our vacation. It was pretty damn perfect - no doubt about it.
At the end of the week we all headed back "home" - with me catching a ride with Sarah and Ned to the airport to drop me off (to fly to Reno - another story) before them driving back to Kansas City, Keith et al. in his (broken) RV (later to be abandoned - which again is another story), and Kari et al. in their rental car to the airport.
And that was the end of our Colorado trip. One amazing week that I greatly appreciate us all for having made happen.
So, back to the original question, how did we get here in the first place?
Since all of this didn’t happen out of nowhere, I went back to try to track the bigger milestones to see how our strings came to intersect in this way.
Let me try to show the approximated timeline of what I think happened to make this come together at all. Here we go...
• 2011, June
- Google+ opens its doors to the (invited) public
• 2011, July
- I join Google+
• 2011, September
- Sarah Rios and I have our first encounter (talking about a TV show, I believe)
• 2012, March
- Scott Cramer (Keith Cramer's brother) insults three Star Wars cosplayers in a Google+ post - igniting an explosion of G+ shenanigans with years of aftershocks
• 2013, December
- I don't have any plans for New Year's and spontaneously end up going to Chicago to meet with strange internet people in a hotel room - and then having them take me back to their place in Fort Wayne (pst, it was Keith Cramer and family - and it was all good)
- I travel to the US two times each year to hang out with many different Google+ friends in the US (with me dropping by Fort Wayne many times after/before visiting other states on my trips)
• 2015, June
- I travel to Kansas City - a trip where what happened when I got there was quite improvised, since the people who invited me couldn't have me come anyway and G+ came to the rescue to find me new great people to stay with instead (thank you very much, Kathryn Huxtable- I truly appreciated your hospitality)
• 2015, June 14
- After watching two rounds of (surprisingly awesome) roller derby with Sarah Rios and Ned Barnhart in Kansas City, we part ways and Sarah suggests that all of us should rent a house in Colorado for a future vacation (which I note down on to-do list; seed planted)
- I travel to the US every summer to hang out with many different Google+ friends (with several visits to Fort Wayne as well) - and I get to met Kari Tedrick for the first time, in Indiana
• 2017, July 29
- I start a Hangouts group chat with the words “Okay, I think it is finally time to plan a get-together in Colorado. How does summer 2018 sound?”
and the planning was on for what came to be one amazing adventure :-)
Oh, and here are a select few photos from my trip - which I cut down to fewer than 50 from around the 2000 photos I took.https://photos.app.goo.gl/V7LEotRZZf22tFaHA#MyTravelStory